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Music Review: Megadeth – Warchest

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Dave Mustaine has had quite a career, and is still going strong. If you have any doubt of his continuing relevance to the metal world, just check the latest Megadeth release United Abominations.

Even if some of the recent outings have not lived up to Megadeth's legacy, this 2007 release is a return to form. Ever since his exit from a then up and coming Metallica, Mustaine has forged ahead in his own direction with his brainchild, Megadeth. I mention Mustaine more than Megadeth, as he is Megadeth. He is the driving force, primary songwriter, and only remaining member of the legendary act. To treat the fans, show continued relevance, and cement their legacy, Dave Mustaine has gone through the Megadeth catalog and culled the best of the best along with some treats that have never seen the light of day. All of this material has been compiled into the Megadeth Warchest, four CDs and one DVD worth.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to get my hands on the entire set, but I have gotten a sampler CD of material. Below is a listing of all five disks, the bolded tracks are the ones on the sampler disk.

Disk One

1. Killing Is My Business … And Business Is Good!
2. The Skull Beneath The Skin
3. Peace Sells
4. Wake Up Dead
5. Devils Island
6. Set The World Afire
7. Into The Lungs Of Hell
8. Anarchy/Problems [session take] *
9. Hook In Mouth
10. Liar
11. In My Darkest Hour
12. No More Mr. Nice Guy
13. “dark themes …” *
14. Holy Wars … The Punishment Due [Casey McMackin demo] *
15. Tornado Of Souls [demo] *
16. Five Magics [demo] *
17. Hangar 18

Disk Two

1. “keeping score …” *
2. Symphony Of Destruction
3. Go To Hell
4. Foreclosure Of A Dream
5. Architecture Of Aggression [demo] ^
6. Skin O’ My Teeth [live at Alpine Valley, East Troy, WI 5/23/92]
7. High Speed Dirt [live at Alpine Valley, East Troy, WI 5/23/92]8. Ashes In Your Mouth [live at the Cow Palace, S.F., CA 12/4/92]9. Sweating Bullets [live at the Cow Palace, S.F., CA 12/4/92]10. Breakpoint [session take] *
11. Angry Again
12. Train Of Consequences
13. Reckoning Day
14. New World Order
15. The Killing Road
16. Strange Ways
17. Paranoid
18. Diadems
19. A Tout Le Monde

Disk Three

1. Trust
2. Almost Honest
3. Use The Man
4. She-Wolf
5. A Secret Place [live at Woodstock, NY 7/25/99]6. One Thing ^
7. Duke Nukem
8. Insomnia
9. Crush ‘Em
10. Kill The King
11. Dread And The Fugitive Mind
12. Never Say Die
13. Moto Psycho
14. 1000 Times Goodbye
15. Coming Home ^
16. Kick The Chair
17. Of Mice And Men

Disk Four
all tracks recorded live at Wembley Stadium, London, England 10/16/90

1. intro/Rattlehead
2. Wake Up Dead *
3. Hangar 18 *
4. Hook In Mouth *
5. The Skull Beneath The Skin *
6. The Conjuring *
7. In My Darkest Hour *
8. Lucretia *
9. Devils Island *
10. Take No Prisoners *
11. Peace Sells *
12. Black Friday *
13. Holy Wars … The Punishment Due *
14. It’s Electric *
15. Anarchy In The U.K. *

Disc Five [DVD]all tracks recorded live at Hammersmith Odeon, London, England 9/30/92

1. intro/Holy Wars … The Punishment Due *
2. Wake Up Dead *
3. Hangar 18 *
4. Lucretia *
5. Sweating Bullets *
6. In My Darkest Hour *
7. Tornado Of Souls *
8. Ashes In Your Mouth *
9. Peace Sells *
10. Anarchy In The U.K. *

* previously unreleased
^ previously unreleased in the U.S.

This set is massive! All of the songs have been remastered and sound great. That is one of the best reasons to pick up this set or the album reissues that have been coming out. The re-masters make the songs so much fresher.

Funny story about re-mastering. I was never much of a fan of their debut album, Killing is My Business…. And Business is Good. It never sounded all that good. Then the re-master came out back in 2002, I picked it up and it was like listening to a brand new album. Seriously, the difference is night and day between the two. So, if you don't think re-masters are for you and you haven't heard this album, do an A/B comparison. Listen to the original and the remastered and try to tell me you don't hear the difference.

Back to the Warchest.

This sampler is not the best way to experience Megadeth, as the songs are all crammed in with no breathing room, they are even faded and mixed right into the start of the next song to fit more on. I'm not complaining mind you, just saying that considering how cool this music is, the real set will be that much better. The songs are presented in chronological order, which is the best way to experience a collection of this sort. This order allows you the experience of listening to the band develop and change through their career.

All of the hits are included, but what is really cool is the older live material. None of this has been released before. Both of Megadeth's live releases came later in their history. This set gives the first retail release of live material from their, arguable, peak period of the early 1990s. I never got to experience those years and the few live tracks on the sampler are great. From the performance to the sound quality, you cannot beat it. In particular, "Ashes in Your Mouth" sounds great, ending with a brief Nick Menza drum solo. Of course, it is also cool to have the Wembley Stadium performance of "Holy Wars." That song is a classic, and this is one of those early performances from when the song was young.

What can I say? Megadeth is a kick ass band that has pretty consistently delivered metal for over two decades. This collection shows Mustaine in all of his metallic glory, shredding like only he can, singing the only way he knows how, and surrounded by a revolving door of first rate musicians. Whatever lineup you prefer, you cannot deny that he has always surrounded himself with quality musicians, highlighted by the early 90's lineup that featured David Ellefson (bass), Marty Friedman (guitar), and Nick Menza (drums).

Bottomline. This is bound to be a must have for Megadeth fans. Sure, we have a bunch of the songs already, but for the demos, session takes, and live material, the Warchest will be priceless.

Based on the sampler:

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About Draven99

  • nick

    I think that this is sweet!!!!!!!!

  • Joel

    Not worth if you already own the albums and the remasters. Most fans already have all the remasters and though remastering makes the sound better on the first 2-3 records and Risk, the rest of the records sound better on the originals.

  • My intentions were to make you want it!

  • Really looking forward to this set, and this review does nothing to change my mind – I have to have it, mostly for the live material, but it looks like a good, extensive “best of” as well. The only live stuff I’ve heard is on a few crappy bootlegs and a promo live CD from the Countdown era that I stumbled upon a few years ago.